Chad Ford is out with his first 2016 mock draft ... 10 months before teams start selecting. Ford suggests that the Nets pick, which they have to give up as part of the Paul Pierce - Kevin Garnett trade, could be as high as third or fourth.
He projects the Celtics aren't likely to pick any lower than seventh and suggests they will take 6'10" Malik Pope out of San Diego State. He uses the recent ESPN panel projections of the Nets record --seventh worst-- to make his picks. Before arguing the merits of selecting Pope, Ford writes about the upside of the pick for Boston and the downside for the Nets....
The Nets sent this pick to the Celtics as part of the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce trade. Both KG and Pierce are gone and the Nets' fortunes are fleeting at the moment, making that Celtics trade look better and better by the day. In fact, both Kevin Pelton and I believe that the panel overstated the Nets' record. If this pick falls to third or fourth, I wouldn't be shocked.
The Nets do have a second round pick in 2016, despite some reports. It may have to be swapped with the Clippers under terms of the 2012 trade that brought the Nets Reggie Evans.
Not everyone is so negative so early. Sam Amico of FOX Sports and AmicoHoops has the Nets at No. 10 in the East, but but thinks they could go higher.
Not relying on departed Deron Williams is probably a good thing, but depth could be an issue. If not, the Nets may go places.